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Woman was shot dead after argument at Glastonbury festival reignited feud

Woman was shot dead after argument at Glastonbury festival reignited feud

28-year-old Ashley Dale was shot over a feud that was sparked by events at Glastonbury 2022, a court has heard

A woman was shot dead in her home after a feud between two groups broke out again at Glastonbury Festival, a court was told.

28-year-old Ashley Dale was shot dead in the Old Swan area of Liverpool on August 21 2022, and prosecutors have argued that her partner was the intended target of the attack.

Five men have been charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, and firearms offences.

All have denied the charges.

A sixth man is charged with assisting an offender, a charge he also denies.

Prosecuting, Paul Greaney KC told the jury that the night before her death, Ms Dale was at her home when her car tyres were slashed, which set off the alarm.

Believing that the alarm had been triggered by the rain, Ms Dale – an environmental health officer – did not go outside.

Ashley Dale was shot in her house, the court heard.
Family Handout

In the early hours of the following day, the court was told that James Whitham kicked in her front door and shot her dead.

Whitham admits that he was the gunman and has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but claims that he shot Dale by accident and denies murder.

Lee Harrison, Dale’s boyfriend at the time of the killing, was not in the house at the time, though he is believed to have been the intended target of the attack, Mr Greaney continued.

According to the prosecution, the attack was the product of a dispute between two groups, one of which Mr Harrison was associated with.

Mr Harrison – the court heard – had a long-standing feud with a man called Niall Barry, which was sparked once again by an encounter at Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Somerset, in June 2022.

Both Ms Dale and Mr Harrison had attended the festival, where a friend of Mr Harrison allegedly assaulted a man named Sean Zeisz, the court heard.

Then, a man called Rikki Warnick, known by both sides of the argument, died by suicide in July 2022, the jury heard.

That served to escalate tension between the two groups further, Greaney argued.

He told the court that Mr Barry, Mr Zeisz, and a third man called Ian Fitzgibbon were the people who organised the murder.

Mr Whitham and another of the suspects, Joseph Peers, were ‘foot soldiers’ whilst Kallum Radford was the alleged getaway driver, the prosecutor said.

The feud was reignited at Glastonbury Festival, the jury was told.
Matt Cardy/Getty Image

Mr Greaney alleged: "There can be no doubt that Ashley's death was murder.

"She was shot deliberately and mercilessly by a man who entered her home intending to kill."

The jury was played voice notes from Ms Dale’s phone, which – Greaney said – ‘provided a running record of Ashley's concerns, and those of her friends who were also caught up in the relevant events to some extent’.

Despite the ‘distressing’ nature of the messages, Greaney said that the jurors had an ‘obligation’ to assess them ‘dispassionately’.

The trial is expected to last for eight weeks.

41-year-old Whitham, 26-year-old Barry, 28-year-old Zeisz, 28-year-old Fitzgibbon, and 29-year-old Peers deny murder, conspiracy to murder, and firearms offences.

25-year-old Radford denies assisting an offender.

Featured Image Credit: Family Handout / Matt Cardy/Getty Image

Topics: UK News, Crime, Glastonbury, Music